I do plan to seek advice from a solicitor on this issue but thought it may be worth posting in here to see if anyone has experienced anything similar.
I had a client who I did some SEO and web development for. We parted company at the end of last year.
Completely on my own accord and without her instruction I bought a couple of domains with my own money to use as news syndication sites. The intention was to syndicate some of the press releases and articles that were being sent out to give them a little boost.
A couple months go by and this client decides that I would be a great fit for a business partner and decides to offer me 20% shareholding in the business. Of course the certificate was never produced......But prior to realising that this woman was stringing me along I bought a couple more domains, this time with the knowledge that I was going to be a shareholder in the business.
A couple more months go by and no certificate was offered. I did not want to ask about it as I was afraid of what the answer would be. Tension mounted and heated discussions were had. I asked about the shares and was told she was no longer willing to give them to me. We discussed the issue and I declared that I would rather not have them and just want to focus on getting the job done and earn a living. We agreed that she would instead raise my monthly fee up if I did more work and got better results (results that I never got to see). So of course now with the promise of a pay rise I work my butt off..At one point I calculate that I was earning as low as £4 per hour.
At the end of each month the client would make certain she told me how poor she is and that her business (start up) was struggling. But I suspected things where going well because of the visits in the analytics, but her money is made from the sales calls and she would say how none of the leads were converting. Anyway month after month she would declare this and all the while I notice on facebook a brand new BMW, private jets, boating trips the list of endless...Did not appear to be struggling anyway....
During this time it was the recession. This was my only client and my first client. I previously worked full time at a web agency for 3 years but was poached away by this person with the promise of much needed money. I was a little naive in allowing myself to be led down the path so to speak.
To cut a long story short. We have since parted company but now I have received an email from her threatening to take me to court if I do not transfer the domains over.
Has anyone faced a similar situation to this?
Part of me is saying just hand them over and be done with it and move on. But the other half of me is saying that I should stand up for myself and demand satisfactory compensation or simply tell her to get lost.
What would you do in this situation?
Thanks if you made it to the end of this.